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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2000 / press_miami_group


For Immediate Release 1/25/2000


Signalling their contempt for the positions taken by their governments, Friends of the Earth
representatives from the US and Uruguay joined an "alternative Miami group" of NGOs today that called
for a strong biosafety protocol that would protect the environment from genetically modified organisms

Friends of the Earth is the world’s largest network of environmental groups and campaigns in all the
Miami Group countries - US, Canada, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Australia.

The "Alternative" group of over 30 civil society organisations from Miami group countries highlighted the
fact that there is growing concern amongst the public in these countries about the safety of GMO foods.
It is highly hypocritical therefore that these same countries are pushing for a protocol that would force
other countries to accept unwanted products.

Sarah Newport, GM campaigner for FoE US commented "The US public is far from convinced that
genetically engineered plants and seeds are good for the environment. It is arrogant and hypocritical for
the US to force feed the rest of the world GMOs."

The alternative group emphasised key elements necessary for a strong Biosafety Protocol. They
stressed that the Protocol should be based on the precautionary principle; a better safe than sorry
approach; and that countries should have the right to say no to GMO imports based on science, cultural
and socio economic factors.

The groups demanded that all GMOs including commodities for grain, feed and processing and products
derived from GMOs be covered in the Protocol.

The groups also urged that the interests of the public and the environment be put over those of the
biotechnology industry and that the WTO should not take precedence over the Protocol in an dispute
over trade in GMOs.

Karen Nansen of FOE Uruguay commented "Our country is going against its people and its future,
agriculture production will most likely be severely damaged and the country will not have the chance to
offer high quality products the consumers are calling for. The people of Uruguay were never consulted
about our government’s position."

FOE International: Adrian Bebb: +1 514 239 4276 (in Montreal)
FOE US: Sarah Newport: +1 514 386 2971




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